Jennifer’s review of The Polar Express > Likes and Comments

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drowningmermaid Someone once said, "There are two kinds of children's books. Ones written for children, and ones written for philosophers." Apparently, there is a third category: ones written for parents who need a warm-fuzzy fix.

I actually really enjoy Van Allsburg's books-- except this one. I think it has to do with what you were saying about page after page of landscapes, mood-setting, and n o t h i n g happening, wrapped up by a sweet nostalgia that I can't imagine a kid relating to.

I am far fonder of the children's books written for philosophers, which Van Allsburg is more than capable of writing. "Widow's Broom" ranks up there with Shaun Tan's "The Arrival."


message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Drowningmermaid, I'll have to check out Widow's Broom. Thanks for the recommendation. Love Shaun Tan.


message 3: by Emily (new)

Emily "has no pull on the hearts of children'?? This was one of my favorite books as a kid! What kid wouldn't want to go on a train to the North Pole?!


message 4: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Emily wrote: ""has no pull on the hearts of children'?? This was one of my favorite books as a kid! What kid wouldn't want to go on a train to the North Pole?!"

Emily, can you PROVE you were a child as a kid? : )
Ok, forgive my hyperbole, and rock on with loving whatever you love!


message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily Haha well actually I was a bit of an old soul...just kidding but thanks!


drowningmermaid Janine wrote: "Not to dissuade you from your opinion, but I'm curious if you read this when you were a child, or only as an adult? I do agree that it brings adults (especially sappy ones like me) the "warm fuzzi..."

Weighing in with my two bits. I *THINK* a librarian read this to me when I was in 1st grade, but I was never taught to believe in Santa Claus, so I never chimed in with the "I believe."

She was reading to a pretty tough crowd, too, since this was a Baptist school where "Frosty the Snowman" was taken off the list of approved carols because Frosty shows disrespect to a police officer. So... there ya go.

I think I remember liking the pictures, and really feeling the cold (a trick, since this was Houston) but still, the knowledge that it was all a crock took some away from the experience. I don't remember ever really disliking a book that was read to me, though.


message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Janine, your guess is correct - I did read it first as an adult. I am an inveterate skeptic and no doubt passed this along to my children.
Drowningmermaid, I love your personal story, thanks for sharing.


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